Employer Cited for Exposing Workers to Trench Collapse

Employer Cited for Exposing Workers to Trench Collapse

Workers can be caught in a trench collapse in mere seconds, a hazard that can cause injury and even death.

Trench collapses remain among one of the deadliest hazards in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. From 2011 to 2018, trench cave-ins resulted in 203 fatal injuries—all of which could have been prevented with required safety measures.

Now, the agency is citing an Ohio employer for exposing its employees to the hazard of collapsing walls by not installing trench safety boxes. An OSHA investigator observed a worker in an unprotected trench while installing sanitation sewer pipes in a 15-foot-deep trench in November of 2021. The investigation also found that the pipe layer had to walk the length of the 75-foot trench to enter or exit because the employer had failed to provide a safe means of egress.

OSHA cited Lanigan Construction LLC for two willful and four serious safety violations and proposed a total of $214,636, according to a press release.

"The company owner and foreman were onsite and allowed the pipelayer to work in hazardous conditions knowingly," explained OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery in Cincinnati in the press release. "We cannot stress enough how important it is for employers to review and then implement required safety measures."

The employer was also cited for failing to provide personal protective equipment and for placing soil piles closer than two feet from the edge of excavation, creating a hazard for the soil to fall back into the trench.

OSHA has a national emphasis program on trenching and excavations. Find all the information you need for safe work here. In addition, The National Utility Contractors Association has declared June 2022 "Trench Safety Month." OSHA will collaborate with the association for "Trench Safety Stand Down" week, June 20-24, 2022.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022


    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue